New UDRP Provider Application: Canada International Internet Dispute Resolution Centre

The Canada International Internet Dispute Resolution Centre (CIIDRC) has submitted a proposal to ICANN to become a dispute-resolution service provider for the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy (UDRP). If approved, CIIDRC would become the sixth UDRP provider, joining the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the Forum, the Czech Arbitration Court, the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre, and the Arab Center for Domain Name Dispute Resolution.

CIIDRC is a division of the British Columbia International Commercial Arbitration Centre (BCICAC), which was established by the government of the Province of British Columbia with the support of the Federal Government of Canada in 1986. BCICAC operates under the BCICAC Foundation, which is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of business leaders, lawyers, academics, and a former Supreme Court of British Columbia Judge.

Since 2002, BCICAC has provided dispute resolution services for the .ca country-code top-level domain (ccTLD) under the Canadian Internet Registration Authority’s Dispute Resolution Policy (CDRP).

CIIDRC’s UDRP proposal includes a list of 26 initial UDRP panelists. (Disclosure: I serve as a CDRP panelist for BCICAC and am included on CIIDRC’s list of UDRP panelists. I also serve as a UDRP panelist for WIPO, the Forum, and the Czech Arbitration Court.)

In its UDRP proposal, CIIDRC says that it would provide an “interactive website [that] will allow parties in a dispute to file a complaint and a response online” and that it “will offer a secure online channel for the parties use.”

In its supplemental rules submitted with the UDRP proposal, CIIDRC outlines a two-tier fee structure that includes a non-refundable filing fee due when a complaint is filed, followed by a panel fee “payable at the time of the appointment and not in advance.” This differs from the current UDRP providers’ practices, which require all fee payments at the time of filing (although WIPO typically offers a partial refund if a case is terminated before the panel is appointed).

CIIDRC’s total fees are comparable to those of the two leading UDRP providers, WIPO and the Forum. Its combined filing fee plus the panel fee for a single-member case begins at U.S. $1,400.00.

If approved by ICANN, CIIDRC says in its proposal that it could begin UDRP work within two to four months and that it could handle up to 200 cases per month. CIIDRC has promised to provide quarterly statistics to ICANN.

“We are committed to promoting and providing efficient, cost-effective and speedy online dispute resolution services,” CIIDRC’s proposal says.

Although UDRP filings are at an all-time high, it is unclear whether there is much demand for another UDRP provider. The most recently approved provider, the Arab Center for Domain Name Dispute Resolution, lists only four UDRP decisions on its website since 2016. By comparison, WIPO reported that it handled 3,074 UDRP cases in 2017.